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Gators can't keep up with Pinewood in rivalry matchup
BA Football
Bulloch Academy's Ben Aaron tries to find running room around the corner during Friday's game against Pinewood Christian in Bellville.

The Bulloch Academy offense was almost as cold as the 45-degree, rain-filled Friday night they took on rival Pinewood Christian. Ultimately, the Patriots took down the Gators in blowout fashion, 50-21.

Both teams opened the game with a scoring drive, which caused a considerable buzz in the stadium as many were anticipating an exciting matchup.

However, the Gators would not sniff the endzone again until nearly the fourth quarter.

The Pinewood defense tightened up and forced turnovers on both of the next Bulloch Academy drives, contributing to their total of four takeaways on the night.

“They did a really great job of forcing turnovers,” said Gator head coach Steve Pennington said. “Unfortunately, it put us behind the eight ball there in the first half.”

Pinewood quarterback Mic Wasson had a field day against the Gators, recording 151 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Wasson also picked off a Gator pass in the second quarter.

“They’ve got some players that can make plays,” said Pennington. “Hopefully playing against good people like this will make us better.”

One bright spot of the night for BA was the return of star athlete and Florida State commit Rodney Hill, who had not previously seen game action this season.

Hill did not waste any time getting back into the swing of things, taking his first touch 60 yards for a touchdown.

“As has been his whole career, when he’s on the field, he’s always a threat,” said Pennington. “That gives us another option that other people have to respect and play against. Having Rodney back will give us more confidence.”

Gator players were clearly emotional following the loss, with some showing visible signs of frustration and disappointment as the Patriots celebrated their third consecutive region championship.

“I’m really proud of all our guys’ efforts,” said an emotional Pennington. “If given an opportunity to play next week, we’ll fight just as hard as we ever have.”

The Gators will go to sleep with no knowledge of their postseason fate, as the GISA power rankings will come out Sunday  morning. Prior to Friday night’s game, BA was ranked No. 7.

Bulloch Academy concludes the regular season with a record of 4-6. Their 2-2 region record was good enough for a third place finish, behind Pinewood Christian and Frederica Academy.